Authenticity

So this week I helped lead formation, and I talked about one of the Core Values – Authenticity. It was really good to just read through the Bible and the Catechism, and the Core Values book. God just convicted me of truth that I needed to be reminded of, truth that I know I still need to be more firmly rooted in. So I thought I would post up what we talked about in formation. I pray it is encouraging and that truth really speaks to you today :)

* Authenticity – To conform to an original so as to reproduce essential features *

“Authenticity is first an internal reality (we bear the image of God) and secondly an external demonstration of that truth (we reveal God to others).” -Lisa Epperson

INTERNAL REALITY – we bear the image of God

Genesis 1

v. 3, 4 “Then God said ‘Let there be light’…God saw how good the light was.”

v. 9, 10 “Then God said ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear’…God saw how good it was.”

v. 11, 12 “Then God said ‘Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on the earth that bears fruit with its seed in it’…God saw how good it was.”

v. 14, 18 “Then God said ‘Let there be light in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night’…God saw how good it was.”

v. 20, 21 “Then God said ‘Let the water teem with abundance with living creatures, and on the earth let the birds fly beneath the dome of the sky’…God saw how good it was…”

v. 26-27, 30-31“Then God said ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them…And so it happened. God looked at everything and found it very good…”

NOTE -> Every time God created something new he stated how good it was, however after he created man/woman he stated it was VERY good – not just good, but VERY good! It is the only time in the story of creation where God declares one of His creations to be VERY GOOD.

* Authenticity – To conform to an original so as to reproduce essential features *

So,

“As Christians we are called to conform our lives to our original, God Himself” -Lisa Epperson

Well, whom can we look to as an example? Jesus. We know what God is like in a very intimate way because of Jesus, He bears the image of the invisible God. We could deduct several things about God by reading through the Old Testament but we would never know the extent of His goodness, the extent of His love, unless He had come down to earth to show us.

In order to be authentic, we must first embrace the truth that

  • We bear God’s image
  • We are made in His likeness
  • We are His – We belong to Him

Romans 8:14-21} Children of God through Adoption

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children, and if children then heirs, heirs of God and then joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord, but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

We must claim our sonship/daughtership and live into it. CLAIM IT! No one can EVER take your identity as a son/daughter of God. Trials may come, temptations and doubts may arise but absolutely nothing can ever change the truth of who you are and Who you belong to.

“We are authentic when we stop trying to be something other than beloved sons and daughters of God.” -Lisa Epperson

Catechism of the Catholic Church

CCC# 1700

“The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God; it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude. It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment. By his deliberate actions, the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God…”

CCC# 1703

“Endowed with ‘a spiritual and immortal’ soul, the human person is the ‘only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake.’ From his conception, he is destined for eternal beatitude.”

Matthew 5:3-12; Genesis 1:28 -> Have 2 people read each out loud.

Which word keeps being repeated throughout the beatitudes? BLESSING!

In Genesis, what was God’s first action toward man/woman after creating them? HE BLESSED THEM!

So in CCC #1703 it says that we are destined for eternal beatitude, which entails we are destined for ETERNAL BLESSING.

Eternal Beatitude = Eternal Blessing} OUR DESTINY!

TAKE HOME POINTS

  • We bear the image of the invisible God (Genesis 1)
  • We are not just “good” in His eyes, we are “very good” in His eyes (Genesis 1)
  • We are sons/daughters of God – claim that truth daily and DO NOT LIVE IN FEAR! (Romans 8)
  • We are made for an eternal beatitude -> we are made to be eternally blessed (Genesis 1:28, CCC#1703)

EXTERNAL DEMONSTRATION OF THAT TRUTH – we reveal God to others

CCC# 1709

“He who believes in Christ becomes a son of God. This filial adoption transforms him by giving him the ability to follow the example of Christ. It makes him capable of acting rightly and doing good. In union with his Savior, the disciple attains the perfection of charity which is holiness. Having matured in grace, the moral life blossoms into eternal life in the glory of heaven.”

CCC# 1717

“The Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity. They express the vocation of the faithful associated with the glory of his Passion and Resurrection; they shed light on the actions and attitudes characteristic of the Christian life; they are the paradoxical promises that sustain hope in the midst of tribulations; they proclaim the blessings and rewards already secured, however dimly, for Christ’s disciples they have begun in the lives of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.”

“Become who you are” –JPII

“This statement implies two things: 1) We are in the process of becoming, we have not yet realized the fullness of who God created us to be; 2) What we are at the deepest and truest level is good.” -Lisa Epperson

We are “very good,” (Genesis 1) we are sons/daughters of God (Romans 8), we were made to be eternally blessed -> JPII called us to “recognize our dignity and reveal it to the world”

If we truly are living into our identity, we can’t help but to be authentic, we can’t help but to bear God’s image, we can’t help but to reveal Him – perfect Love [1 Corinthians 13:4-8]- to the world.

The enemy does not want us to reveal Him to the world. He does not want us to live into the fullness of life God yearns for us to have. He will fight it in any way he can, he will attempt to drown out truth with a barrage of lies. But we need not fear, for Jesus has conquered all (John 16:33).

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